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a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior


a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned

drive-reduction theory

the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need


a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level


a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior

hierarchy of needs

maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs and then psychological needs become active. (physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, self actualization)

A.L. Washburn

inflated a balloon in his stomach, monitored stomach contractions. hunger was felt when stomach contractions occurred.


blood sugar. a drop in this will signal the brain for hunger.

lateral hypothalamus

If electrically stimulated, well-fed animals begin to eat; if area is destroyed, even starving animals will have no interest in food.

ventromedial hypothalamus

depresses hunger. stimulate: animal will stop eating. destroy:animal's stomach and intestines will process food more rapidly, causing it to become extremely fat.

set point

the point at which an individual's "weight thermostat" is supposedly set. When the body falls below this weight, an increase in hunger an a lowered metabolic rate may act to restore the lost weight

basal metabolic rate

the body's resting rate of energy expenditure

anorexia nervosa

an eating disorder in which a normal-weight person diets and becomes significantly underweight, yet, still feeling fat, continues to starve.

bulimia nervosa

an eating disorder characterized by episodes of overeating, followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise

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